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Posts Tagged ‘funny’

So, the story I am about to tell is true. It may go down in history as one of the weirdest moments in my marriage history. It was one of those moments, when you think to yourself, “What is happening right now?” It may be one of those, “You had to be there” stories, and if that is the case, then I apologize. But make no mistake, it is true and it just happened.

My wife is sick, and in her virus-infected state she has requested something to read that will “not involve her brain”. I couldn’t find my copy of Fifty Shades of Grey, so I gave her several options. I gave her Double Sin by Agatha Christie, Q is for Quarry by Sue Grafton, and How to Lose Friends and Alienate People by Toby Young. I am a huge fan of mysteries, so those are most of the books in my collection, but I said to her, I recall that the Toby Young book was funny, but I don’t remember it as I read it a long time ago. I also told her that I seemed to have some memory of her reading it before too, but I did not know why.

I leave the room and go downstairs so my wife can choose and read her book to get her through her debilitating illness. One minute later, she calls to me and asks “Who gave you this book?” My reply was, “I have no idea.” Her response was, “Are you sure?”

Let’s take a moment to analyze this situation. If you are in a relationship or have ever been in a relationship, especially a long-term relationship, you might have already surmised my situation. I have been married for some time now (yes, I could be more specific, but that would require brain power. It’s not that I don’t know, it’s just that I want to finish this blog rather soon, and I do not have the time nor the energy to take a break from writing and figure out exactly what year of marriage it is for me. I digress) and my marriage alarms were going off in my head like a three alarm fire. My first reaction was that she clearly knows the answer to her own question. She knows who got me that book, but more importantly, I have no idea who gave me that book.

I cautiously walk up the stairs, my brain racing to determine who could have possibly given me that book. I am wondering if the mystery book giver could land me an extended stay in couch town and a “we are closed indefinitely” sign placed on the Wife Fun Zone. I arrive in our bedroom and she hands me the book. “Who wrote that?” she asked. I look at the book, and inscribed on the title page, it reads:

TO BRETT,
THE GIRL WHO JUST HANDED YOU THIS BOOK WANTS TO JUMP YOUR BONES!
unreadable signature

Again, my wife asks, “Who wrote that?” Again, I respond, I have no idea. “Do you want to think about it?” she says. Alarms blaring and we have just upgraded this situation to DEFCON 1 (nuclear war is imminent). I take a moment. What is my exit strategy? Another moment. Think. Think. I have no choice, I have to go with the truth. “I have no idea who gave me that book.”

“Do you recognize the handwriting?” she asked. “Nope.” I replied. Now let’s enter awkward silence. During the silence, I leaf through the book, as if the book itself would give me the answers I need to get out of this situation. And, lo and behold, about half way through the book is a piece of paper with writing on it. It states, in clear legible hand-writing and different from the title page hand-writing:

HI MY LOVE –
I ASKED HIM TO SIGN THE BOOK, “WITH LOVE, FROM TOBY …” BUT I GUESS HE HAD HIS OWN IDEAS … I LOVE YOU! LEAH

In a glorious, triumphant tone I announce, “YOU gave me this book!”

“What!?!” she replied as she yanked the book away from me. She looked at the note and busted out laughing. The unreadable signature on the title page was now clear to both of us. It read, Toby Young.

Hilarious! And yeah, that just happened.
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In relationships there is nothing worse than when your partner asks a question that he/she already knows the answer to. It is like they are laying a trap and they are just waiting for you to step in it and get stuck, forced to gnaw your own leg off to escape. It is kind of like when your wife asks you if she needs to lose weight. Of course you need to lose weight, otherwise you would not be asking. But if I respond that way, I’m the a-hole. I’m just sayin’ …

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So, you may not know this about me, but I have a very normal, healthy, amazingly strong, rational fear of hummingbirds.  Hummingbirds are evil.  Seriously, if hummingbirds were six-feet tall, they would take over the planet.  The zombie apocalypse does not scare me, it is the mutation of hummingbirds into anything big enough to take down a human.  I am convinced they could take down a human now if they would just realize exactly how  badass they really are in the grand scheme of things.

For example, their beak is as sharp as a needle.  Are you telling me that if I stabbed you in the eye with a needle, it wouldn’t hurt?  It might even kill you if it was long enough.  Look at the hummingbird below, the sword-billed hummingbird.

"I will kill you!"

“I will kill you!”

That thing will reach your brain.  Hey, it is called the sword-billed hummingbird for a reason.  Deadly!  I know what you’re thinking.  Brett, you are crazy.  That hummingbird could not get close to my eye even if it wanted.  Really?  Really?  Really, Mr. I don’t know nothin’ about these deadly creatures?  Let me break it down for you.

Fact: Hummingbirds can reach top speeds of up to 50 mph.  In relative terms, that is over 350 body lengths per second.  If they were six feet tall, they would be travelling over 1430 miles per hour, greater than the top speed of most fighter jets.

Fact:  Hummingbirds can perform serious aerial maneuvers and can dive with such velocity and acceleration, they will pull up to 10 G’s.  They do this without a suit or in a jet.  They look at pilots and say, “You Wuss!”

Fact:  Hummingbirds can beat their wings up to 80 times per second.  That means they could bitch slap you almost 5,000 times in a minute.

Fact:  Relative to body size, they have the largest brain of any bird.  They will become big, they will rule us with their big brains.

Fact:  They hear and see better than humans.  They can see ultraviolet light.  That’s like having X-ray vision.  They are practically small Supermen.

Fact:  Hummingbirds have a metabolism about 100 times that of an elephant.  They can eat up to eight times their body weight.  If a hummingbird weighed 200 pounds, they would need up to 1600 pounds of nectar to sustain itself.  They will enslave us and make us churn out 1,000’s of pounds of nectar daily.  We will have to each maintain an entire pool filled with sugar water to appease our new masters.

Fact:  Hummingbird flight muscles make up about 30% of their body weight, compared to a paltry 5% for human pectoral muscles.  Hummingbirds would like to Pump (clap) You Up!!!

Fact:  And last, but certainly not least, hummingbirds are extremely aggressive.  They would sooner kill you than look at you.  They attack each  other with reckless abandon.  They have no moral compass, they are not into being nice, they have no need to know who you are or what you are about.  They know one thing and one thing only, and that is to destroy anything that gets between them and their nectar.  Have you watched a hummingbird feeder  lately?  Check out this video (My Hummer Feeder). 

And you don’t know the half of it.  This feeder is empty.  BOOM!!! I just blew your mind.

Seconds after the video was taken, I refilled it with sugar water. Hey! Don’t look at me that way. You damn right I am feeding hummingbirds outside my cabin.  I will be saved when the Hummer Apocalypse comes upon us.  They will remember my skills at creating nectar.  When everyone else is killed, I will be saved.  It won’t be a great life, but at least I will be alive.  It won’t be easy at first.  Sugar water makes the hands sticky, but hey, with some nice kitchen gloves and the occasional cool night (hummingbirds metabolism is so high, they often have to enter torpor, a kind of hibernation, to survive the night), I see happy times ahead.  For now, eat to your heart’s content, little sword carrying speed demons.  If you become freakishly large, remember me and my never-ending flow of nectar.  (Ooh! That sounded dirty.  Forget I wrote that)

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You ever wonder, since the dawn of time, has any hummingbird ever been struck by lightning?  I like to think that at least one has.  I’m just sayin’  …

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So, I have decided that the best way to get to know your children is to go on a road trip.  Seriously, I highly recommend it.  Granted, it will depend on the type of kids you have and how many.  With just my son and me in the car, it is quite easy.  If you add two more kids to the mix, I am sure it becomes more difficult, but with proper planning it could go quite well …  I think.

On the second leg of our trip to Colorado, we talked about sports (His topic).  Our conversation about sports got philosophical quite quickly and lasted for almost an hour.  I wanted to know why he played sports.  You see, my son is in a lot of activities.  He is in karate, he starts football in August, then wrestling, then back to karate, and if there was infinite more time and money, he would also be in swimming.  He is the best swimmer that I know.  He is a blue belt in karate and is getting quite good at his defensive line position in football.  Of course I am biased, but I believe the previous statements are accurate.

But it was the why questions that interested me the most.  I asked him about karate and if he knew why they discussed things like honor, dignity and humility.  His sensei is very old school and he trains in the Okinawan Shorin Ryu school of karate.  I asked him if he knew what that meant.  He did not, and quite frankly, neither did I, which led to a discussion on why not ask why?  This may be normal for 13-year-olds, but I found it curious.  My son does a lot of things without knowing why he is doing them.  He likes karate for the exercise.  He likes football because he has friends on the team and he has dreams of being in the NFL.  He likes swimming because I think he is part fish.  My son can stay in the water all day.  And when I say all day, I mean all day.

The why questions led us to a discussion about his school classes.  His classes are apparently stupid and he does not see their point.  We talked about the purpose of education.  I explained to him that there is still a lot that he does not know and that he is not ready to be kicked out of the house yet.  He agreed.  We talked about goals, and why it is important to have them.  We talked about life and philosophy and why there are certain rituals in his karate class.  We talked about why he never asks the ‘why’ questions.  His answer to this surprised me, it’s because no one else does.  I said, “You are right, most people don’t ask the ‘why’ questions, and if you can learn to do this, you will be a step ahead of everyone else.  It is important to ask why, especially when you don’t know the answer.”

I have no idea how my son will look back on this summer when he is older.  I hope he will look back in a positive way.  I hope I am not coming across preachy.  I hope he is not becoming skilled at tuning me out, which I am sure he does more often than I would care to admit.  But nonetheless, it was a good ride to Colorado and I learned a lot.  It makes me wonder how much we could all learn about one another if we could just periodically be stuck in a car for 16 hours.  Can’t wait until the drive home at the end of the month.  We still have a lot of topic cards left.

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One interesting thing I learned on the second leg of the trip.  My son wants to see his birthplace, Lawrence, Kansas.  As we drove through Nebraska I said look around, it’s a lot like this, except with fewer trees.  Despite my description of his birth state, he still wants to go.  So, we will be taking the long way home through Kansas.  I will just have one thing to say to my son before we embark on our Kansas journey.  Be prepared to be disappointed.  I’m just sayin’ …

Yup.  It looks just like this.

Yup. It looks just like this.

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So, it has been a while, but I am back.  I would like to dedicate this blog to my buddy, Corey, who I miss more than he will ever know.  He is not dead, just lives far away and I rarely see him.

Anyhoo, I have been sitting on my 100th blog for a long time.  Maybe because it is the 100th and I have applied too much pressure to it being great, but as my friend Doug in California told me recently, the 100th episode is not always the best episode, it is just the 100th episode.  So, to Doug, for getting me re-energized to blog, and to Corey, for pissing me off enough to sit down and write this blog immediately.

I recently posted on Facebook that I am fortunate to have both conservative and liberal friends.  I also posted that they often say the exact same things about the same issues.  Both sides think their votes don’t matter.  Both sides think the other side uses unfair or unscrupulous actions to get their way in congress or senate.  Both sides think they represent the people.  Both sides think they are right.  In response to my Facebook commentary, my buddy Corey writes to me (in private) “As an intelligent man with a wide range of accomplishments both personal and professional, you are a leader.  I know you and I do not agree on everything, but society needs you to get off the sidelines.”

Those are strong words to speak to another person, aren’t they?  And I love him for it.  Don’t we all need people to push us?  Don’t we need those in our lives to encourage, nay, dare us to be better people?  We sit back and drop political/religious/opinion ideological bombs on Facebook, and then just walk away.  What is the point?  Maybe I have been on the sidelines too long.  Maybe it is time to take some action against the drive by ideologue shootings that are taking place everywhere I look.  Maybe it is time for me to lead a group of people to something better.  But how?

I am not really sure.  But unfortunately, I think my friend is right, I need to get off the sidelines.  I have so many thoughts in my head that I feel like it will explode sometimes.  I think that is why I enjoyed blogging so much.  I say enjoyed, in past tense, because I have been going through some things over the last year, but I need to move on, or continue in the direction I know I need to go.  My life has always been driven at being the best, being wise, being kind, and most importantly, improving myself.  It is time I get back to those main goals.  That is why Corey pisses me off so much, and why I love him so much.  He is the guy I can have hard conversations with and the guy that can tell me when I am full of sh*t.  He is not the only guy in my life like that, but one of very few.

So, what does this mean?  For now, it means I have finally written my 100th blog.  It may mean that I get my opinions out there more often, but hopefully in a way that affects change.  As I stated before, I have so many thoughts:  Parents need to parent.  Discussions need to continue among all walks of life.  Global climate change IS happening.  Taxes are NOT always bad.  Taxes are NOT always good.  If you were to write down the mandates of the Bible, it would NOT include pushing for government abortion laws.  God is good, but we are NOT.

Oh yeah, and one last thing, Corey can suck it!

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My friends and I used to have lots of discussion about random things while in high school. I was reminded of one such discussion by my friend Doug from California. If 7-Eleven is open 7 days a week and 24 hours a day, then why do they have locks on their doors? I’m just sayin’ …

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So, a number of conversations have taken place between my son and I in the last few weeks that I have been meeting to blog about.  However, in the interests of time, I have decided to focus on two moments that will go down in the Great Father/Son Moments Hall of Fame.

As I may have mentioned before, my son and I go camping every year in a place called Vedauwoo Campground just East of Laramie, Wyoming.  We have been doing it for five years now.  The thing I love about this tradition is it seems to be just as important to my son as it is to me.  I know this, because during extremely bad weather, I have given him the option of staying in a hotel instead, and every time he has requested to put up our tent come hell or high water.  One year, I really thought high water was going to be an issue.  This campground is famous for its bouldering.  We camp, usually make a campfire, make s’mores, then wake up in the morning, pick a boulder to climb and then climb it.  Once we reach the top, we take a picture of ourselves, and mission accomplished.

Woods Destination Climb 2012

Our Annual Vedauwoo Picture #5

This year, after climbing our boulder mountain we were discussing mountain lions.  We got on the subject of baby lions for some reason, and my son asked me how mountain lions were made.  Of course, I ask, you mean the species, or how do mountain lions mate?  He wanted to know about lion mating.  OK.

So, I briefly describe lion mating and think that is sufficient.  Then my son asks if that is the same way humans do it?  I tell him, “For the most part.”  And then I ask if he wants specific details about making a baby.  To my surprise, he says, yes.  I won’t go into the full details of the conversation that took place next, but I will say that it was very specific, using words like, erection, penis, vagina, ejaculation, sperm, orgasm, etc…  And my 12-year-old son listened intently to every word.  After I was done telling him about the birds and the bees, I asked if he had any questions.  He said no.  Then, after a pause, he said to me, “I think I won’t do any of that until I’m 27.”  And I said, “That is alright by me.”  And now that I have written this blog, I have the documentation to prove it.  Good times.

The second father/son moment actually occurred yesterday.  Brett is going to YMCA camp this Sunday.  One of the requirements of camp is that he has a doctor’s signature indicating that he is healthy enough for camp.  Unfortunately, because of time away to be with my father during his illness, I forgot all about this requirement.  I called his doctor to see if he would sign a form stating that my son is healthy.  He agreed.  Unfortunately, once they looked at his records, the time since his last appointment was too long, so, he would need a physical.  Unfortunately, his regular doctor did not have any appointments between yesterday and Sunday.  Luckily, the physician’s assistant was available and she (emphasis on the word, SHE) agreed to do the physical immediately.  We rushed to the doctor’s office to get my son his physical so that he could go to camp.

From the beginning, Brett was nervous.  He asked if he was going to get a shot, and I said no.  I just informed him that the doctor was just going to look at him and make sure that he is healthy and that it is a requirement to go to camp.  The nurse weighed him, measured his height, and took his blood pressure.  Once completed, she instructed my son to take off all of his clothes except his underwear and the doctor would be in shortly.  Immediately upon the nurse’s departure, he asked me if she was serious.  I said, “Yes.  Take everything off except your underwear. It will be OK.”  And then, what seemed like forever, (at least five minutes if it was a second), the doctor came in.  She introduced herself, and then proceeded to ask both Brett and me a series of health related questions.  This process took a good 15 minutes.  After we were done, she asked if we had any questions.  We both said no, but then there was a pause, and Brett said, “Actually, I do have one question.  Why did I have to answer all those questions in my underwear?”  Priceless.  I couldn’t help but laugh.  Excellent question and hilarious.

She told him he could put his shorts on until later.  I didn’t have the heart to warn him beforehand.  Looking back, I probably should have, but he was about to find out anyway.  Later, she asked him to take off his underwear and the look on his face was as if someone was going to shoot him.  He grimaced, closed his eyes and waited for torture to begin.  After a couple of “Turn and your head and coughs”, she was done, no hernia.  It was by far the worse part of the physical for him.  He got through it and now he is cleared for camp next week, but it was definitely some uncomfortable touching.  He might revise his earlier statement to waiting till 37.  I have a feeling he will feel differently about that soon enough.

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On the car ride home we talked about how uncool the experience was, and he was relieved to know that he would not have to do that again for a while.  I thought about telling him about what the doctor wants to do to me ever since I turned 40, but then I thought, “Why scar him for life?”  I’m just sayin’ …

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So, apparently I am supposed to boycott Chick-Fil-A.  Why overly sensitive person?  Is it because the president, Dan Cathy is against gay marriage?  So what?  A lot of people are against a lot of things.  Am I supposed to change how I live my life based on what other people think now?  I normally reserve this kind of blog for the crazy religious right people, but now I have to talk about this?  Et tu, gay community?  Et tu?  I didn’t even know about this issue until I read it in another blog ( a blog I agreed with).  I thought about ignoring the issue, but it stayed on my mind long enough to inspire this blog.

Let me break it down for you in the simplest terms possible:  If your opinion is frightened or likely to shake because of other people’s opinions, then your opinion is not worth squat.  I am not saying you shouldn’t listen to other people’s opinions, but don’t be afraid of them, or is the foundation of your beliefs that shaky?

Full Disclosure:  I am AGAINST the Chick-Fil-A boycott AND I am AGAINST Chick-Fil-A appreciation day.  I don’t eat at Chick-Fil-A, and even if I did, I wouldn’t stop because of their president’s opinion about something.  Now, if they were doing something illegal, I might boycott them, but why would I have to boycott if they were doing things illegally?  For example, if Chick-Fil-A did not allow gay people to own their restaurants.  That would be boycott worthy, but it would also be illegal.  Note to reader:  Chick-Fil-A does have homosexual owners.  Another example, if Chick-Fil-A did not hire homosexuals.  That too would be boycott worthy, but also illegal.  Note to reader:  Chick-Fil-A has gay workers.  Hopefully a boycott would not be necessary, because they would be breaking the law, but as far as I know they are not.

I have also learned that apparently, Chick-Fil-A is not open on Sundays due to religious beliefs.  I’d more likely boycott that.  I used to live in Kansas where you could not buy alcohol on Sundays.  Now that is something worthy of a boycott.  How can you be a football state and not be allowed to buy beer on Sundays?  If we are going to boycott Chick-Fil-A because of their president’s opinions, shouldn’t we boycott his clear opinion that Christians that work on Sundays are not good Christians?

I could talk about gay marriage, and have already done so, but this to me is about having the right to an opinion.  So, if you are thinking about boycotting or showing appreciation, just stop it.  If you agree with Cathy, fine, if you don’t, that’s fine too.  We need to learn how to get along with people who have different opinions then our own, because that is what Jesus would do.

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The following is a list of the top 5 acceptable reasons to boycott:

1. Blood Diamonds – It just makes sense.  If you can get diamonds that don’t support war, why wouldn’t you?

2. Any product that involves cruelty to animals – You telling me you can’t eat dolphin safe tuna?  Really?  Come on man!  Dolphins are cute!

3. Products that involve human rights issues or child labor law violations – Hey!  I have a little secret to tell you.  You know your iPhone that you love so much?  You should see the conditions that humans are placed under so that you can talk to Sirius. Just about every Apple product is boycott worthy, sorry.

4. Products that cause harm, such as lead-based toys – Or do you just hate kids?

5. 3D Movies – We get it, you can make things float in the air or fly at my face.  Enough is enough already. I’m just sayin’ …

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So, I just got back from California.  While on the plane to California, I was the bread of a medium guy/big guy sandwich.  In other words, I was on the window and another guy (bigger than me) was on the aisle, and a guy in between.  But, on my return flight, the middle seat was held by a woman that could not have weighed more than a buck 0 five sopping wet.  Needless to say, the return flight was much more comfortable for me and the other members of my aisle.  It got me thinking, what if we were required to give our weight when buying our airline ticket?  Think about it.  Let’s say that only middle seats were available.  If you knew the size of the people in the aisle and the window, wouldn’t that inform your decisions of which middle seats were preferable?  If you are one of my smart readers, I am sure you see the flaw in my plan already.  What about liars?  If you are a woman, and you weigh 115 pounds, it would be to your advantage to say that you weigh 300.  It would decrease the chance of anyone sitting next to you.

It’s a basic Game Theory problem or Prisoner’s Dilemma, depending on your academic training.  For example, in Hawks and Doves Game Theory, a hawk will fight and be aggressive to obtain a resource, but a dove will never fight and be submissive.  So, if a dove meets a dove, they share the resource equally, but if a hawk meets a hawk, they fight and incur a cost with diminished access to the resource.  Of course, if you are a hawk and you meet a dove, you get everything.  So, a population of hawks and doves should reach a balance.  Not too many hawks and not too many doves.  In my Airline Game Theory, we would have True Weight (Low Medium High) versus Liar Weight (Low Medium High).  For example, if a True 350 pound person sits next to a True 100 pound person, the seats are shared in favor of the 350 pounder, however, the 100 pounder receives low costs, due to their small size.  Two people that are True 150 pound people, would share their seats equally.  However, if a Liar High 150 pound person (someone who really weighs 350 pounds) sits next to a Liar High 150 pound person, they will incur very high costs, and no one will win.

So, what is the answer?  Let the airline make seating assignments based on everyone’s weight, using an algorithm that maximizes comfort for all concern.  This would mean you would not know your seating assignment until the very end, but wouldn’t it be worth it?  I love this idea.  I am a big guy.  If you are a big guy, trust me, you do not want to sit next to me.  Airline people, if you are reading my blog, make it happen.  This is a great idea.

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What is up with airline travelers?  Is it really necessary to keep your cell phone on when the plane is taking off?  They’re like children, and the teacher has to go around slapping people on the wrist to get them to turn their iPhones off.  And guess what?  If you refuse to listen or at least be quiet during the safety announcements, I have every right to leave your butt behind when the crap hits the fan.  Finally, no matter how much you complain, you can’t will the plane to be on time.  So sit down, shut up, and put your damn seat belt on when the sign is illuminated, because guess what?  That sign is definitely for you.  I’m just sayin’ …

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